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  • Ayn Rand

    Alice O'Connor (born Алиса Зиновьевна Розенбаум, Alisa Zinovyevna Rosenbaum; 1905-1982), better known by her pen name Ayn Rand, was a Russian-born American author and philosopher1. She is known for her fiction and for developing a philosophical system she named Objectivism. Born and educated in Russia, she moved to the United States in 1926. After two early novels that were initially unsuccessful and two Broadway plays, Rand achieved fame with her 1943 novel The Fountainhead. In 1957, she published her best-selling work, the novel Atlas Shrugged. Afterward, until her death in 1982, she turned to non-fiction to promote her philosophy, publishing her own periodicals and releasing several collections of essays.

    Rand advocated reason and rejected faith and religion. She supported rational and ethical egoism as opposed to altruism. In [politics](/topic/politics-philosophy(, she condemned the initiation of force as immoral and supported laissez-faire capitalism, which she defined as the system based on recognizing individual rights, including private property rights. Although she opposed libertarianism, which she viewed as anarchism, Rand is often associated with the modern libertarian movement in the United States. In art, she promoted romantic realism. She was sharply critical of most philosophers and philosophical traditions known to her, with a few exceptions.

    Rand's books have sold over 37 million copies. Her fiction received mixed reviews from literary critics, with reviews becoming more negative for her later work2. Although academic interest in her ideas has grown since her death3, academic philosophers have generally ignored or rejected Rand's philosophy, arguing that she has a polemical approach and that her work lacks methodological rigor1. Her writings have politically influenced some right-libertarians and conservatives. The Objectivist movement circulates her ideas, both to the public and in academic settings.

    1. Neera K. Badhwar and Roderick T. Long, "Ayn Rand", Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, 13 July 2020, accessed 31 May 2024. ↩︎

    2. Mimi Reisel Gladstein, The New Ayn Rand Companion (Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Press, 1999), 117-119. ↩︎

    3. Neil Cocks (ed.), Questioning Ayn Rand : Subjectivity, Political Economy, and the Arts (Cham, Switzerland: Palgrave Macmillan, 2020), 1. ↩︎

    This article is derived from the English Wikipedia article "Ayn Rand" as of 28 May 2024, which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.